Ince & Co should be your first port of call if you have an initial interest in all things maritime. With an outstanding reputation in shipping and insurance/reinsurance, the firm also has and extremely strong presence in areas such as interntional trade an aviation. The firm's energy practice is one of the fastest growing in the city; quickly becoming a core focus for the firm.
Ince operates a unique work system whereby fee earners are encouraged to specialise in more than one of the 5 core business groups, meaning employees don't get pigeonholed in to one particular area. This is relflected in the training contract. Rather than operating a traditional seat-rotation system, Ince boasts a flexible 2 year training scheme in which trainees can take on work from any of the firm's core practice areas and keep working on cases past qualification.
There are no billing hour targets (if there’s work to be done you’ll stay back and finish it) and given the nature of the work the firm does, long hours are not a daily occurrence. In terms of remuneration, salaries are top-tier for this kind of firm, but not matching packages available at full-service or transaction-focussed firms. You will however get to experience a broad range of work, strengthening your general knowledge before you move on to specialisation.
After-hours at Ince & Co has plenty of sporting activities to get involved in (including football, rugby and squash) and even a choir which performs during Christmas. Other social events are a May ball and a get-together every second Thursday in the month.
The firm has no standalone departments and only five core areas of practice with a mix-n-match philosophy depending on clients’ interest or case requirements. All fee earners can, conceivably work on any matter and not be confined to one field alone.
The five core areas are Aviation, Energy and Offshore, Insurance/Reinsurance, International Trade and Shipping.
Clients include Emirates, Heli Air Monaco, Royal Jet, ADC Airlines, Silverdell, Willbros Group, Anglo American, Fortis Bank, Ferrell International, and Seaway Heavy Lifting.
Ince & Co looks for potential solicitors who have a strong academic background; you must aim for a minimum 2:1 degree and AAB at A-level. Candidates should demonstrate strong ambition, a positive mental attitude, a clear thought process and able to articulate the desire and reasons for wanting to work in law, and particularly within Ince & Co's specialist practice areas.
You’ll need to be flexible and adapt to working in small and large groups as the need arises, be a constructive team player and hard-working.
Seat allocation as we know it (sorted based on practice area) does not exist at Ince & Co. Instead, trainees are assigned to four different partners, with whom they’ll spend six months each, though they can be assigned work by anyone else in the firm as well.
This system allows trainees to become exposed to as many areas and kinds of work as possible without focussing on one particular method of practice. Trainees get to work on a case from start to finish.
Actual case-work is allocated and trainees can be expected to assist their supervisors on all kinds of work: meeting clients; attending courts; drafting correspondence; conducting research; preparing documentation; and meeting and dealing with other lawyers and counsel, both within and outside the firm.
This broad-based system of work continues for a further period of two years after qualification and only after a trainee lawyer has experienced and learnt a wide variety of work will they be allowed to look at specialising in a particular practice.
15 trainees are taken on board each year in vacation schemes held during the Easter and summer holidays. Each placement runs for two weeks, during which trainees will sit with a partner and be assigned a current trainee as a buddy.
Tasks allocated are based on actual case-work and could include attending court, meeting clients and other counsel, drafting letters and research.
The firm pays course and examination fees for both GDL and LPC courses. Trainees receive a salary of £36,000 and £39,000 in the first and second years, respectively.
Benefits include 25-days holiday, a pension scheme, health and life insurance, subsidised gym membership and season ticket loan.
Applications for vacation schemes should be submitted between 1 December 2012 and 31st January 2013. Training contract applications open on 1st February 2013 and close on July 31st 2013. Ince & Co recruits on a rolling basis so aim to apply as near to the opening date as possible.
The selection process for training contracts includes a critical thinking test followed by an interview and in-tray test with a member of HR and a partner from the recruitment committee.